How to Fix Windows Defender Sees a Legitimate File as Virus?

Windows Defender is one of the most decent antiviruses which comes preinstalled in Windows 10. It combines layers of machine-learning models, behavior-based detection algorithms, generics, and heuristics to rapidly investigate suspicious files. However, a flaw in Windows Defender may mistake the legitimate files for trojans and viruses. If you are facing this issue, then do not worry. To fix this problem, check out the solutions mentioned below.

Windows Defender

Scan the PC from Safe Mode

You can scan the PC from safe mode by following these instructions mentioned below:

  1. Hold the Windows and R hotkeys simultaneously to invoke the Run prompt.
  2. You should now insert ‘msconfig’ into it and hit the Enter key to launch the System Configuration screen.
  3. After that, move to the boot tab, then select the option of Safe Boot.
  4. Later, pick the option of Network and apply the changes.
  5. Now, reboot the system.

Adding an Exclusion to Windows Security

You can add the exclusion to Windows Security by following these instructions mentioned below:

  1. Navigate to the Windows menu and click on it to launch the menu.
  2. Then pick the Settings option.
  3. You should click on the ‘Update & Security’ option.
  4. Later, click on the Windows Security option and pick the ‘Virus & threat protection’ option.
  5. You have to pick the Manage Settings option.
  6. Later, locate the Exclusions wherever you should pick the ‘Add or remove’ option for the specific exclusion.
  7. Now, click on the ‘Add an exclusion’ option, then choose the particular folders, files, or file types, procedures for the exclusion.

Look for Windows Defender Updates

You can look for Windows Defender updates by following these instructions mentioned below:

  1. Navigate to the Settings option and click on it.
  2. Thereafter, locate the ‘Update and Security’ option and then locate the ‘Windows Update’ option to select the ‘Check for updates’ button.
  3. In case the latest updates are available, you will locate them. Go to the ‘Definition Update for Windows Defender’ section and install them.


Windows Defender, may at times, due to bugs, view a legitimate file as a virus. While solving this issue is easy, locating the best solutions is really an uphill task. The above instructions have been organized to guide you to know about the effective options to fix this issue. I hope that the directions will help you to choose the correct fixes that will meet the requirements.

Ava Williams is an avid technical blogger, a magazine contributor, a publisher of guides at, and a professional cyber security analyst. Through her writing, she aims to educate people about the dangers and threats lurking in the digital world.

Source – How to Fix Windows Defender Sees a Legitimate File as Virus?

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